Wednesday, 20 May 2015

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT EXPLAINS THE DECLINE IN TABLETS

The rare sighting of an iPad in the wild as it were.
It's an iPad mini by the looks of it. 
SYNAPSE CIRCUIT
EXPLAINS THE DECLINE IN TABLETS
ANDROID iOS WINDOWS

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It’s so wonderful to see you as always! I hope that all is well with you! I also hope that you are taking on some tech projects and challenging yourselves! Don’t worry... ...the iClone 6 Pro review is coming very soon... Oooh, yeah!

You may or may not have heard or read that tablet sales are sliding across the board iOS, Android and Windows. Here’s an insight into why this is happening...

#Tablets #AndroidTablets #iPad #iPadMini #WindowsRT #WindowsSurface

iPAD

Above: The state of the iPad... Filling up CEX shops with no buyers.

The iPad is no doubt a wonderfully crafted tablet and therefore it is really outstanding in the field of tablets. Not only is the iPad and mini great to the look and touch the applications are to be reckoned with! Let’s recap as to why the iPad and mini sales are on the decline:-

1. Too expensive; if the iPad was an expenditure that would last at least 3 to 5 years it wouldn’t be so bad but it is renewed every year and twice in 2013 if I am not mistaken. So, Apple users are better off with a Macbook Air.

2. The Lightning connection to my mind came as another nail in the iPad coffin. Overnight many iPad peripherals were made obsolete. Charming!

3. The advent of the iPad mini meant that the standard 10” model was compromised somewhat.

4. Finally, the iPhone 6 Plus rendered the both iPad models dead in the water!


Above: Another computer exchange store in Central London unable to shift second hand iPads.

Still, if I were an Apple user I would want to pick up an iPad second hand! But even in second hand / computer exchange stores the iPad is still priced uncompetitive. Maybe – just maybe the cost of the second hand iPad will come down greatly when the computer exchange shops can’t shift them.

WINDOWS RT / SURFACE
Yes, Microsoft botched up the first wave of Windows tablets with the Titanic-like Windows RT operating system that hit a few icebergs... However, Microsoft did pick up the slack and came back with the Surface! The Surface is truly outstanding and very desirable since it uses the full Windows operating system which means no silly apps but fully functioning software! I want one! Yeah, I know... Who would have thought that I would find myself taking a fancy to the Surface, eh? But here’s a recap as to why Windows tablets are tanking:-

1. Yes, the price is the main killer! As a result many Windows folk would prefer to invest the money into a decent desk or lap top!

2. As mentioned in the first point; the Windows laptop is very compelling as you get a decent processor for the money.

3. The Windows desktop PC is very persuasive still as one can swap out the graphics card or add cards such as a professional soundcard for music making for example. I would rather invest the cost of the Surface into a full on desktop PC for graphic design, video editing and music making!

ANDROID
The Android tablet was supposed to be the saviour of the tablet phenomenon. What happened to the promise? Google and Android OEMs did their best to undercut Apple and Windows but at what cost?

1. Google seemed to let manufacturers run wild with the tablet; there were no standards as one could pick up a £50 Android tablet made by an unheard of manufacturer from China.

I think too many consumers thought, as with the budget handset, that these cheap Android tablets were on par with the iPad. Windows RT wasn’t an issue as it was the wrong product and wrongly priced. And, again, like the budget Android handset of yesteryear (you don’t see much of them these days), the Android tablet can be made obsolete with app updates. Once the usual app suspects get updated (Facebook, G Plus, WhatsApp, etc) the underpowered cheap or otherwise Android tablet may not be able to cope with the demands on the processor.

2. Unrealistic... It appears as though Google and manufacturers did not invest a lot of forethought into the Android tablet. By this I mean that Google didn’t, as far as I know, invest into a chip processing plant and design powerful CPUs that could have been mass produced and therefore bring the costs down. If you look at what Samsung has done with creating its own Exynos SoC for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge it goes to show how important it is to mass produce powerful chips and place them in worthwhile products... It goes back to standardization. Google seemed to rely on the hardware of manufacturers. Although Google gives its manufacturers a chance to shine I reckon they should have worked more closely with Samsung to produce powerful cost effective tablets that had a bit of longevity in them. Asus had some pretty interesting tablets on the market but were priced too high...

3. The apps weren’t there. The iPad was streets ahead and when the Android tablet threw down the gauntlet to Apple it was clear that it wasn’t really ready. The hardware was not up to par and, again, the apps were nothing to write home about. 

4. As an amalgamation of all the points above today’s Android tablet is still quite iffy in build – as much as I appreciate plastic builds I don’t think that the Android tablet should pop so to speak when handling it. Yes, the Android tablet body can be very flimsy compared to the iPad. Some Android tablets are like DVD covers in that it can yield to the touch. Not good!

“Intel inside...” Once upon a time the Intel chip meant and still means something in the PC world but when it comes to the Android tablet (and phone) I have yet to be convinced! Whenever I see “Intel inside” I cringe. Last year I got the Asus Fonepad 7 LTE to replace a defunct Motorola RAZRi (also with an Intel CPU inside) and today I may as well use the hybrid tablet and phone as a rather expensive coaster for my coffee table. The Asus Fonepad 7 LTE struggles with Facebook, Messenger and just about every worthwhile application... It is crap! I am now planning to replace the device that is crap as a phone and even worse as a tablet! I don’t know what Asus was thinking with the Fonepad 7 LTE but it doesn’t live up to the promotional material. I can reel off a bunch of other complaints against the Fonepad 7 LTE but I shan’t bother...

So, from my experience with the Fonepad 7 LTE I can say that my expectations may have been unrealistic as a consumer... OK, I fell for the promotional blurb but I should have known better as someone who tests hardware and software. If I want a decent tablet I have to pay for it and as much as Google might want to undercut the competition the fact is that a powerful Android tablet will cost handsomely!

The future of Android tablets lies in better everything: internal hardware, build quality and applications. I can see that Samsung are up for taking on the iPad with the Galaxy Tab S models and HTC did put out the 64-bit Nexus 9. The 64-bit CPU should revolutionize the Android tablet as it has the handset. I would like to see Android manufacturers move away from these underpowered novelty tablets once and for all this year because good products are a calling card.

I am looking to get a serious tablet this year and it is going to last a lot longer than 6 months!

UPRISING
The Android tablet could rise as could the Windows Surface. With Android it is just a matter of getting the power and quality right! Motorola has shown what can be possible with budget handsets, Moto E and G, and although there are no known plans for Motorola to do the same for the tablet there has got to be a few manufacturers that will do it for the tablet. I am quite sure that it’ll be Samsung that will release a serious 64-bit tablet this year but what other manufacturer or manufacturers will produce a serious pro Android tablet? HTC? LG? Asus? Could the Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and Lenovo take the market by surprise?

And with Windows it’s getting the price down a fair bit and it is getting there!

There’s life in the tablet yet! We’ll just have to see how the rest of the year plays out! The forthcoming Google i / O in 7 days could reveal the powerhouse tablet we’ve been waiting for along with a better version of Android that is leaner, faster and easier on the battery consumption. Lollipop is by far the best and most ambitious version (as it should be) but I feel that it could be a lot better still! I feel for the Android developers as they’ve got their work cut out for them! But the fact that 5 of my Android handsets have Lollipop shows me that Google is on the ball – albeit a tad behind with what was set out at last year’s i / O! I can see that there is scope!

As for the Android tablet apps I can see that the quality it getting better all the time. According to the news Google Play Store has surpassed the Apple App Store for profits going to developers and this will certainly mean that iOS developers will release keep releasing more Android versions that will almost certainly see an increase of Android tablet sales. Many of us Androids have been waiting for the 64-bit chip before making a serious tablet purchase and now that it is here we’ll see...

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